December 13, 2007 (the date of publication in Russian)

Maxim Kalashnikov


The exclusive potential of Moscow-Minsk cooperation should be used to the full extent

Russia's most adequate response to Washington's ABM deployments in Poland and Czechia would be to position Iskander-M tactical missile complexes in Belarus. With their 480-kilometer range and compatibility with cruise missiles, Iskander-M complexes are capable of destroying the US bases in Poland. That is not the only destination of these weapons, as Poland may be used by NATO for concentrating land and air forces for probable operations against the Russian Federation. In case Ukraine joins NATO, its territory may be used for the same purposes. This makes Belarus a truly indispensable partner for Russia.

The strategic significance of Belarus for Russia's security requires a special economic regime for the ally. Guaranteeing privileges for strategic allies is a principle of relations used by the United States, China and even by regional powers. In case Belarus breaks off with Moscow and follows the political example of Ukraine, Russia will lose its stronghold in Europe, while Belarus will become an element of a Black Sea-Baltic "sanitary cordon".

Intensifying comprehensive partnership with Minsk and assisting Belarus in resolving its economic problems, Moscow would much benefit from a full-fledged engagement of Minsk's vast scientific and technological potential.



Let us be candid: it is very complicated for Russia to resolve the problem of technological modernization of its Armed Forces alone. The potential of Belarus military facilities is a most precious element of the once powerful heritage of the USSR. Today, Russia requires modern complexes of radioelectronic warfare, systems of management for ABM, aviation and land forces, as well as high precision weapons.

Belarus, which managed to conserve and develop its military industrial and cadre potential, is becoming the most crucial partner of Moscow in joint programs of rearmament.

Attempts to create analogues of Belarus facilities in Russia have encountered a number of obstacles, emerging not only from insufficiency of qualified cadres and lack of time but also from decline of production, particularly due to irrational conversion of military industries, resulting in disruption of production chains. One more problem is corruption in administrative bodies and failure of financial discipline, extending into the sphere of military production. In Belarus, organization of labor, industrial cooperation, rational spending and financial control is much more efficient than in Russia until today.

Take the crucial element of the national high-precision weapons program – the systems of electronic mapping on the base of surveillance data. These systems are essential for accuracy of Iskander-M and high precision weapons generally. In this sphere, Russia-Belarus cooperation has already proven its efficiency in development of the "Comet" space mapping complex, jointly designed by the 29th Central Research Institute of Russia's Defense Ministry and PelengConstruction Bureau (Belarus). This complex efficiently inserts accurate target data into the "brains" of high precision missiles.

Today, the military industrial complex of Belarus produces: automated systems of management of troops, reconnaissance and weapons; special microelectronic and radio-technical devices and means of transmission of data for all branches of troops; trucks and amphibious vehicles for missiles and special systems of weapons; optic-electronic laser devices for aerospace technique and weaponry for land troops; optical night vision devices, laser rangefinders, rifle sights; metrological supply systems for weapons and materiel; engineering technique, etc.

This potential should be conserved and developed. Today, Russia has a perfect possibility to invest in the abovementioned projects of military production. The success of bilateral cooperation in this field is worth providing special trade privileges for Belarus, especially in oil and gas deliveries.

The military industrial facilities of Belarus are also capable of producing efficient dual-use technologies, exemplified especially with advanced software.



Since 1999, researchers from Russia and Belarus have been involved in join production of SKIF super-computer. Its capacity exceeds 20bln operations per second. SKIF's great advantage is low production costs; from this standpoint, SKIF is an analogue of the famous AKM in computer technology. Nikolai Paramonov, executive director of the SKIF program from Belarus, says that "creation and implementation of super-powerful computers is a necessary precondition for competitiveness of Russian and Byelorussian aircraft and auto production, as well as space technologies, under the conditions of strong rivalry with Western producers".

The lack of competitiveness of Russian industries in abovementioned spheres was predetermined, particularly, by the strong ban on delivery of powerful (over 10 billion operations per second) computers to Russia, imposed by the US Congress. This ban was substantiated with fears that Russia would use them for modeling nuclear explosions, as well as for trajectory calculations.

In 2005, a cluster of K-1000 SKIFs was assembled in Minsk in the newly-established Republican Super-Computer Center. K-1000 can be used for solution of all kinds of problems requiring high-speed calculations in high-tech industries, including biotechnologies, medical studies, genetics, geologic exploration, environment control, meteorology and other spheres.

SKIF was co-invented by several scientific institutions of Belarus and Russia. The general implementing agency of the SKIF program is the Incorporate Institute of Informatics of the Belarus Academy of Sciences. This research institute, founded in 1965, is involved in designing technological systems for processing and identification of signals, images, speech, as well as geoinformational systems, data protection technologies, digital optimization, emergency decision making, processing of biological and medical data, ergonomics, computer networks, databases and telematic supplements. The Institute carries out fundamental and applied research in cybernetics, informatics, automation, applied mathematics, providing scientific support of informatization in Belarus.

The second participant of the SKIF program is the Institute of Software Systems (IPS) in Pereslavl-Zalessky, Yaroslavl Region of Russia, established in 1984. The Institute specializes in high-capacity calculations, software for parallel architectures, artificial intellect systems, telecommunication systems and medical informatics. IPS is the leading institution of Russia's Academy of Sciences in the sphere of software.

Two more contributors of the SKIF program are T-Platforms Company (Moscow) that produced computational units and testing configurations for both K-500 and K-1000 models of SKIF, and AMD Corporation, specializing in innovative microprocessors and flash memory devices, providing energy-saving technologies for communication systems and computers, as well as for home appliances.

Unfortunately, the SKIF program was not included into the program of development of Russian electronic industries. The strategically important program is underfinanced, though its implementation could accelerate general development of Russia and Belarus.

New research, based on the SKIF project, is now carried out by enthusiasts in Miass, Yekaterinburg Region, and a number of advanced Moscow laboratories. The latest research works of Boshchenko, Nariniani, Zatuliveter and Protasov have laid the groundwork for a national program, focused on elaboration of artificial intellect.

Thus, Moscow-Minsk cooperation in science and technologies has got a huge potential both in military and civil production. Is this potential going to be rationally used, or undermined with a shortsighted gas tariff bargain?

Number of shows: 2229
(no votes)
 © GLOBOSCOPE.RU 2006 - 2023 Rambler's Top100